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Back in the 60s, marketing was a different world.

The AMC series, Mad Men, portrays that tumultuous period quite wonderfully, from the sharp suits and ubiquitous cigarettes, to the Manhattan cocktails and chivalrous culture.

Nowadays, those dapper gents of the marketing sphere have been replaced by hipsters in skinny jeans who have a penchant for craft beers and vape pens.

But there’s a bigger shift in the dynamics of marketing today.

(Yes, even more shocking than the fact grown professionals are still using vape pens. Come on already, surely that ridiculous novelty has to wear off soon?)

I’m talking about MarTech.

It’s more than another buzzword.

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How MarTech is Shaping the Future of Marketing

“The future is now. New marketing technologies are making 1:1 dreams of 25 years ago come true today.”

- Jennifer Renaud, CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud

To delve a little deeper into that nugget of wisdom, we can see just how modern marketing has morphed into a machine-lead megalith.

Alliteration aside, marketing in 2018 utilizes a host of great tools, platforms and insights that simply weren’t available to the hotshots of the 1960s.

Social media, SEO and data analytics just weren’t around then.

Marketing and technology have become closely intertwined over the past decade, to the point that the two are almost inseparable now.

Marketers of today might not look as good as the Mad Men cast, but with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine-learning based tools, they now have even greater potential than their predecessors ever had.

Here are three ways that MarTech changing the game in 2018.

1. Laser-Focused Targeting

That’s right. Modern marketers don’t just have advanced AI, they have lasers.

However, those lasers are usually used in board meetings to help explain the next quarter’s financial projections.

On a serious note, data insights on consumer behaviors allow marketers to learn much more about their audiences. With this information, they can fine-tune their marketing strategy to cater specifically to the interests and needs of their customer base.

Social media marketing allows us to segment audiences on demographics, interests, online activities, and much more. There is huge potential here for marketers, making it possible to generate much higher ROI than just some fancy wordplay will ever do.

Don Draper might be a smooth talker, but he’d have trouble going up against the technology of today.

And then there’s video, which is another shimmering pool of immense possibilities. Can you see Don and Peggy jumping on Instagram Stories?

Video content gets much greater organic reach, somewhere around 135% according to Social Media Today. Creating tailor-made content for your prospects and delivering it to them with targeted ads is sure to light up your site traffic.

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2. Tracking is Trendy

In the Mad Men era, tracking a campaign would have involved tedious surveys on the time people were reading or watching TV. There was a lot of guesswork and assumption involved.

Mapping those impressions to actual sales set the stage for more assuming, which would lead to a final report with more issues than Betty’s lungs.

Compare that to today.

Social media is no longer a creep’s paradise, and is instead a marketer’s dream. Machine learning is now at the heart of many advertising and email automation campaigns.

When you throw in content marketing and SEO, marketing in the MarTech age is like some kind of voodoo magic that brings data insights raining down around you.

3. Data Management

So, what to do with all that data?

Data without insight isn’t worth anything.

Don and the gang might be buried in a mountain of paperwork, if it was even possible for them to get the data.

But the new kids on the block have it much easier.

They just let the robots do the hard work. With some marketing automation tech, you can collate, analyze and segment data insights to continually adjust and improve your marketing strategies.

The power of MarTech allows companies to be more prepared, so even if a mad man on a lawnmower came riding through the office, it wouldn’t phase anybody.

Going further than a hipster on his fourth crafty, modern marketing technology enables a high degree of integration. You can link your site analytics up with your Facebook page insights, or your SEO with your voice and video content.

When you see a fully-integrated marketing automation stack working in perfect tandem, it really is a thing of beauty.

It may even outshine Peggy.

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Mad Men of the Digital Future

Business intelligence and Ai is already light years ahead of the 1960s. From machine learning and predictive analytics, to automation software and data-led strategies, Don and his pals would be sweating up a storm in those in suits.

But here’s the thing:

All this innovative and amazing marketing technology can’t emulate human emotion. Yet.

So, while we put the robots to work, marketers must use their free time to get creative in their efforts.

And I don’t mean a vape shape competition.

By harnessing the vast potential of marketing technology, and using their own creative sparks, marketers of today can make their company look every bit as classy as the Mad Men era.

Even in skinny jeans.

By CJ Haughey

CJ Haughey is the managing editor of MarTech Gazette. A creative copywriter and self-confessed digital marketing nerd, this shaggy-haired Irishman is currently shaking the last of the travel bug off in his adopted home of Colombia. In his spare time he tries to avoid being sick at kickboxing training.